This is their story....
William “Bill” and Irene Roach have spent more than 50 years giving back to the Land O' Lakes community. Their endless contributions paved the way for future generations to continue thriving. A dream they shared was to development a summer camp for children with special needs. Bill passed away in March of 2010 leaving his legacy in the hands of his family to see through. Pursuant to Bill and Irene’s dreams and goals, the family worked together to create Camp Idlewild of Florida to serve children with special needs and varying abilities from Land O' Lakes and the surrounding communities.
Bill was a Land O' Lakes pioneer! As a citrus farmer and entrepreneur for many years, Bill worked diligently to improve and develop our community. Back in the 1950"s, Land O’Lakes was mainly a truck route. Bill built the first shopping center, worked together with community leaders to build the LOL Civic Center and the Volunteer Fire Department. Bill and Irene served as leaders in numerous community organizations, including: Sertoma, the Women’s Club, Chamber of Commerce and the Pasco County Schools. Together, Bill and Irene have played an integral part in the Land O' Lakes community for over 80 years and they just keep giving to those in need!
Camp Idlewild’s vision is to inspire each individual to look beyond their current capabilities and to explore the world around them. Our main mission is FUN! Then, to provide recreational and adapted camping programs that promote confidence, independence and challenge campers' abilities. Our programs are specifically designed for children ages 6 to 17 of all abilities, including Autism Spectrum Disorders. Our goal is to offer opportunities that encourage children to reach their full potential and to explore areas of interest as they develop new skills and lasting relationships.
Camp Idlewild is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that was created in 2013. Our first goal was to secure the land to build Camp Idlewild. In 2015, approximately 25 acres was “gifted” to the Roach Family Foundation from Irene and Bill’s homestead to build the camp facilities. In 2016, the construction began on the first structure, a 5200 square foot Lodge. Our infrastructure was developed and completed after numerous local and state hurdles were cleared and our team worked tirelessly with Pasco County and the Florida Department of Health to provide county water, sewer, and fire lines to service Camp Idlewild. Following seemingly endless delays and new requirements, the infrastructure was complete. In 2019, a residence for camp staff was constructed on the grounds and (RV) sites were completed. In 2020, our first four cabins will be completed, as well as pavilions, a storage building and numerous program areas.
Our development team’s dedication and passion for Camp Idlewild’s mission is stronger than ever and we look forward to welcoming our first campers in the Fall of 2020! In times of uncertainty, our team continues to push forward to stay on track to open our doors to our first set of campers and families in October 2020. Our plan is to host 6 weekend camps and then offer a full Summer Camp season in 2021!